We’ve covered Diamond Comics Distribution owner Steve Geppi’s debt problems several times here. In what has to be seen as a particularly demoralizing blow, Geppi’s historic 19th century 13,000 sq. ft., nine acre estate is going up for foreclosure auction today. Geppi and his wife bought it in 2004 for $4.8 million; tried to sell it in 2008 for $7.7 million (bad timing with the housing market slumping) and the mansion is currently listed for sale for $3.6 million.

“It is a rare jewel, that house,” said Karen Hubble Bisbee, an associate broker with the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Green Spring Valley office who specializes in historic and upscale homes. She called the home “as tony an address as exists in the county.

“It is without a doubt one of the most important houses in the entire metro area,” she said.

Court records show Geppi with an outstanding mortgage debt of $3.25 million. This is in addition to recent settlements on back rent on the Geppi Entertainment museum, another settlement on rent on a movie theater, debts from several bad real estate deals, and an ongoing lawsuit by the estate of Bob Montana, charging non-payment. If you were to say it all adds up to look like Steve Geppi is broke, we couldn’t say we blamed you.

The Baltimore Sun takes the opportunity of the foreclosure to look at some potential hazards for the one Geppi business that seems to be holding its own, Diamond. Finance columnist Jay Hancock suggests that the comic-book trade is challenged by Internet, recession, while quoting a piece written by yours truly. And the Read Street blog looks at whether the iPad is a threat to Diamond:

The biggest threat on his comics distribution business: the iPad. Previous e-readers such as the Kindle and nook are not built for full-color graphic displays. But the iPad’s clear, sharp display offers comic book fans a new way to feed their habit.


  1. For those who wish to peek inside:


    The previous owner documents the renovation at cliffeholme dot com

    There’s also Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation tax info online… 9.72 acres. Primary residence is 4 miles away. Assessed value for 2009: $4,593,312

    Principle address in Lutherville is appraised at $4,849,900. 10.59 acres Bigger house, constructed in 1988. Purchased in 2007 for $5.6 Million, listed at $6 Million. Tax: $57K (approximate)

    Cliffeholme has little backyard, and the neighbors didn’t appreciate Geppi wanting to build an art gallery on the front lawn. Near to shopping and light rail.

  2. My wife turned me onto the link this morning. This is right around the corner from my house. The houses are HUGE in on this road. It is unbelievable to me that he owns two homes on this road.

  3. There was a Geppi’s in Crystal City/Arlington which I think closed for awhile now. Its still showing up on Mall Maps though. Stupid real estate idiots have no idea.

Comments are closed.